I love to write in my journal. I’m pretty sure I’ve kept a journal since I could hold a pencil in my hand. I’ve even posted a picture of the entry I wrote after the first time I hung out with Jimmy. I have a collection of colored and patterned notebooks that are filled with notes from when I’m meditating on scripture, drawings in the margins, stickers, pictures, and thoughts on what was going on in my life at the time.
Sometimes, when I’m feeling reflective, I’ll pull out an old journal and flip through it. Occasionally, I’ll find one of my well-loved and tattered journals with the same month or date, and I’ll read up on what I was doing one, two, or seven years ago this month. It’s kind of astonishing how much I forget.
As I was digging through old journals last week, I stumbled upon one from last year. It dredged up a lot of emotions. As I flipped through the pages, I could tell I was feeling completely overwhelmed with school, wedding planning, house hunting, premarital counseling, working, and editing the school paper. I was also excited for the future, but mostly I wrote down a lot of scripture about guidance, such as these verses from Psalm 25.
I think the toughest challenge for me at this time last year was simply trusting God with the future. It scared me that I didn’t know where I would be living in a few months, what I would be doing for a living, and what my life would be like. Jimmy and I really struggled through house hunting because we had to decide whether or not we wanted to live on “his” side of Pittsburgh or “my” side of Pittsburgh.
We looked at countless duplexes, houses, and apartments. We looked in “his” area and “my” area, but nothing really panned out, and our wedding was getting closer and closer. Once I resigned myself to the fact that we were probably going to live with Jimmy’s dad until we could find a place of our own, we found a house. We closed on it just two days before our wedding, but it felt so incredible to know that we would have a place to call our own as a married couple.
While our house may not be considered the biggest or nicest house, it’s the biggest and nicest house to us, because it’s the home God has blessed us with. Since we’ve moved in, we’ve had friends and family over for meals, we’ve worked on projects, prayed, and spent time relaxing together in our humble abode. I feel insanely blessed that we have running water, heat, food in our cupboards, electricity, and love. Lots of love within our walls! I hope to never take the “simple” things in life for granted. Ever.
It’s hard to think that a year ago today, I was stressed out about where we would live. I was worried that God wouldn’t provide for us. I didn’t trust Him with all of my heart as I should have. Though I didn’t show confidence in God’s ability to provide, He did just that. In fact, He went above and beyond… you know, as God is known to do 😉
I could never have imagined how completely happy I could be exactly where I am at this very moment. To tell you the truth, I hadn’t even been to the town we now live in until we bought our house. I couldn’t have pointed it out on a map, and yet it feels like it was made for us. We adore our home, neighbors, and neighborhood. I can’t even explain how many times I have thought this is exactly where I am supposed to be and I’m so insanely happy about it. I feel blessed, and guilty at the same time. Guilty that I didn’t trust God when I know that He has always worked things out in my life. Always.
I know that sometimes you just learn as you experience things. You hold those learning experiences in your heart and mind. You share them with others, and you remember them so that whenever you have even a sliver of doubt in your mind, you remember how much God loves you and how He takes care of you. How He always has and always will. You hope that you’ll remember the many ways He’s provided and blessed you, and that you’ll learn to trust Him with everything in your life.